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Williams in Driving Seat in St. Moritz
Photo by Loris Von Siebenthal. Click on image for photo gallery.

WMRT St. Moritz, Switzerland: Ian Williams took one step closer to qualifying directly for the semi-finals of the 2011 St. Moritz Match Race today after dispatching his joint overnight leader Johnie Bertnsson in a tie-break match in the second Qualifying Session on Lake St. Moritz. Williams' Team GAC Pindar has now secured seven wins and sits above a group of teams in a tense battle for the seven quarter-final spots.

With both Team GAC Pindar and Berntsson Sailing Team on six wins and one loss, their match in flight 17 could prove crucial in deciding who qualifies directly for the semi-finals. Both Williams and Berntsson wanted the favoured left however Berntsson was forced to tack just after the start and was forced right. As has been the case all week, Williams found more pressure on the left and built an unassailable lead.

Overnight there was a pool of teams, including Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat who still needed three or four wins to see themselves through to the quarter-finals. Mirsky hasn't failed to qualify for the knock-out stages since last year's St. Moritz Match Race and also boasts the best win rate amongst the Tour Card Holders in the Qualifying rounds this season. He showed that pedigree today in very fickle winds, grinding out wins over Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan, Eric Monnin (SUI) Oklays Corum Sailing Team and Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team.

The day was punctuated with stop and starts owing to necessary course changes as a result of the inconsistent winds

The 2011 St. Moritz Match Race is proving to be one of the toughest events this year on the World Match Racing Tour with eight of the nine Tour Card Holders vying for the honours, something Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners is only too aware of. He is firmly in the danger zone with a 3-5 scoreline.

Catch the end to this exciting Qualifying round of the St. Moritz Match Race tomorrow when the fate of Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team (4-4), Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing (4-4) and Morvan (5-4) will be determined.

Standings after the Second Qualifying Session:

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 7-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 6-2
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 6-2
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 4-4
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 4-4
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan 4-4
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-5
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 3-5
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 3-6
Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum Sailing Team 2-7
Jerome Clerc (SUI) Team CER 1-8

Welcome To Yorkshire Secures Second Place, Singapore Third
Photo by Mauricio Val / onEdition. Click on image for photo gallery.

Clipper in Rio The three Race 2 podium positions have been decided with the overnight arrival in Rio de Janeiro of Welcome to Yorkshire and Singapore, who finished second and third respectively.

The only English entry in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, Welcome to Yorkshire crossed the finish line in the shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain last night at 2210 local time (0110 UTC) after more than 20 days racing across the Atlantic Ocean.

Second to the Scoring Gate behind Singapore, and therefore picking up two bonus points on this race, Welcome to Yorkshire has been locked in a three-way contest with Singapore and Gold Coast Australia for the last 3,000 miles.

Paying tribute to his exhausted crew, who will pick up their first pennant of Clipper 11-12 at the Race 2 prize-giving ceremony next week, Rupert said, "We're absolutely ecstatic on Welcome to Yorkshire. My crew have played an absolute blinder on this race. They've worked really hard, pushed the boat hard and we've come away with a just result. I said to them that they'd been in first second or third position the whole way from the start in Madeira so we are all really chuffed with that and to come across that finish line in second place. I'm proud of them - brilliant!"

Two more teams, New York and Visit Finland, are expected to arrive within the next 24 hours. The remainder of the teams have some strong headwinds to contend with on their race to Rio

Positions at 1800 UTC, Thursday 1 September

1. Gold Coast Australia, Finished: 0707UTC 31 August
2. Welcome to Yorkshire, Finished: 0110UTC 1 September
3. Singapore, Finished: 0620UTC 1 September
4. New York, 39nm to finish
5. Visit Finland, 97nm
6. Geraldton Western Australia, 190nm
7. De Lage Landen, 226nm
8. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 324nm
9. Qingdao, 337nm (In Stealth Mode, position at 0000UTC 1 September)
10. Derry-Londonderry, 465nm

Fleet Gathers for Star European Championship on Dublin Bay
All 32 boats for the Star European Championship (2nd-10th September) have arrived in Dun Laoghaire (Co. Dublin, Ireland) and are busy training on Dublin Bay prior to Sunday's first race.

Current world champions and double Olympic Gold medallists Iain Percy (GBR) with Andrew Simpson top the entry list while defending title-holders Johannes Polgar (GER) with Markus Koy are also competing.

Percy will be seeking to improve on his second place at the recent London Olympic 2012 test-event at Weymouth while the championship will also be an indicator of form before the ISAF Sailing World Championships at Perth in December.

Five Star world champions or Olympic medallists are included in the line-up while several more are also former champions in other Olympic classes. Polgar and Koy won last year's championship in Viareggio (Italy) in a record turn-out for the Star class. Second-placed runner-up Andrew Campbell (USA) from 2010 is also in Dun Laoghaire, this time with Ian Coleman and are up against 2009 world champion George Szabo (USA) with Mark Strube in the lead-up to selection for next year's Olympics.

Tornado class Gold medallist Fernando Echavarri (ESP) with Fernando Rodriguez Rivero will be competing along with double world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Xavier Rohart (FRA) and Pierre Alexis Ponsot. Former Finn Gold medallist and 2008 world champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Dominik Zycki are also certain contenders next week.

The fleet also includes two Irish crews: Beijing 2008 helm Peter O'Leary along with veteran Olympian David Burrows will be in the hunt for a top three place on home waters while Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks will be competing from their home club for the first Star class event in Ireland.


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Leap Frog on Lake Ontario
Rochester, N.Y., USA: The wait for the elusive breeze on Lake Ontario paid off for 36 teams on the second day of racing at US SAILING's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (Rolex IWKC). It was early afternoon before the light and variable wind gave way and breeze began to build from the east, eventually settling in around 12 knots which allowed a spirited game of leap frog to take place amongst the teams at the top of the standings.

The first win of the day went to an experienced local team, which briefly moved them up from third to second in the overall standings. Team Lucy is helmed by Cory Sertl (Rochester), a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year who has won this championship twice, sailing with long-time crew Amy Seymour Moran (Pittsford), Annemarie Cook (Rochester) and Jane Mastrandrea (Webster).

When the defending champions won race two of the day - Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Liz Bower (Rochester, N.Y.) racing as Team Maclaren - they too made a leap, going from fourth to first in the overall standings. Finishing fifth in the race sent yesterday's leaders - Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wisc.), Annie Lush (Poole, Dorset, GBR), Alana O'Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Jackie Campbell (Washington, D.C.) - down to third overall, while Sertl's Team Lucy remained second overall on the strength of a third-place in the race. Things were heating up though, as Tunnicliffe and Sertl were now tied on points at 21, with Barkow just one point behind.

Winning the third and final race of the day was Kirsten Werner (Rochester), with Brandy Cocoroch (Toronto, CAN), Katelyn Thompson (Whistler, CAN) and Samantha Webster (Toronto, CAN). Werner was followed across the line by Barkow and Tunnicliffe, a result that popped Barkow back up to second overall.

With today's three races added to the five completed yesterday, the standings point to a dramatic showdown when the final day of championship racing takes place tomorrow, Thursday, September 1. Anna Tunnicliffe's Team MacLaren is first overall, followed by Sally Barkow's team, both tied at 24 points. Cory Sertl's Team Lucy is five points back, followed by Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.) and JoAnn Fisher (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.), who are tied on 29 pts.

Racing at the 2011 Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship concludes tomorrow, Thursday, September 1, for the 36 competing teams.

Full results and additional information are available on the event website:

Daily videos are available on T2P:

The Logistics Race
There are still two months to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2010-11, but in the race to ship the event's massive consignment of accompanying equipment around the world, the starting gun has already been fired.

"There is no container ship in the world that can match the speed of a Volvo Open 70!"

Volvo Ocean Race Logistics Manager, Craig Rodgers, is the man tasked with making sure everything gets to the stopover ports on time.

"The biggest challenge is to make the timeline, says Rodgers. "This time the stopovers are shorter and the boats quicker, so it's really tight. If we miss one ship and the vessel only sails once per week, then we don't have time to meet the next vessel and to build the race village."

Two identical sets of equipment are therefore taking two separate leap-frogging routes to reach each of the 10 ports on time.

The first logistics route is Alicante (Spain), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Auckland (New Zealand), Miami (USA) and Lorient (France).

The second one is Cape Town (South Africa), Sanya (China), Itajaí (Brazil), Lisbon (Portugal) and Galway (Ireland).

There are 100 to 120 containers per route for the entire race, including 12 containers for the organisation.

In addition to the hundreds of containers travelling with the race, another 20-25 tons of material will travel by plane.

"Anything ultra expensive such as TV broadcast and editing kit, as well as the real one off pieces of IT infrastructure, goes by air freight to every port. If it's cheaper and an option to buy two of anything, then it goes by sea. If it costs less to buy one and send it by air or if there is no option to buy a duplicate, it's goes in the plane.

Looking ahead to future logistic challenges, Rogers believes the likely performance ramp up of the boats in further editions of the race may require more kit to travel by air.

"Using air freight only for the entire race is definitely doable, but the volumes we currently ship are an issue. Yet, I think it's something we would need to look at in the future as the boats will only go faster and it is something done well by F1 and Moto GP."

Season Finale
French JPK 9.60, Ultreia!, skippered by Matthias Kracht. Photo by Hamo Thornycroft. Click on image to enlarge.

Cherbourg Race RORC After a record breaking Rolex Fastnet Race, the final race of the RORC Season's Points Championship takes place this weekend. After a scintillating season of racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club, current weather models predict a light airs race, in sharp contrast to a very windy season.

In IRC Zero Derek Saunders' CM 60, Venomous, has already clinched the class title but no doubt the team will be celebrating in style in Cherbourg, as this is their first series win with the yacht after three years of trying.

Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, has already wrapped up the class win in IRC One and after competing in nine races this season, the sky blue flyer is sitting out the race to Cherbourg. However, in IRC Two Neil Kipling's J/122, Joopster, needs to get a result against Ross Appleby's Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster, to be sure of the season win. Neither of these yachts has won their class for the RORC Season's Points Championship before but the conditions and the points favour Joopster to take their first RORC Season's Points Championship win.

Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, has an unassailable lead in IRC Three after picking up maximum points in the Rolex Fastnet Race but the team from Le Havre are still competing in the final race of the season.

IRC Four has been incredibly competitive and after a long and exciting season, the class title looks like going to French JPK 9.60, Ultreia!, skippered by Matthias Kracht. However Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome, and Nigel Goodhew's Sigma 38, Persephone of London, are also racing to Cherbourg and will have a close battle for the runner up spot in IRC Four. -- Louay Habib

Marlow Ropes Release Free iPhone App.
Marlow Ropes iPhone App Marlow Ropes are proud to announce the release of the first version of their new iPhone App. The Marlow Ropes iPhone App is free and available for everyone to download from the iTunes App Store.

The Marlow Ropes App is the first comprehensive rope information app to be released for the iPhone. It's free and easy to use, wherever you may be.

Overview The Marlow Ropes App consists of five tabs:
1. Products. Full product listings, including:
- The Grand Prix series
- Racing & Cruising
- Dinghy & Windsurf
- Mooring
- Superyachts

2. Technical. Understand your ropes with
- Splicing techniques.
- Rope care advice.
- Material Properties - + more.

3. Catalogues. The latest Marlow Catalogues in PDF format
4. Marlow TV. Sailing and rope related videos from around the world.
5. Interactive barcode reader.

- Use the inbuilt interactive barcode reader to scan the QR barcodes found on Marlow's new point of sale chandlery racking to discover further information

Login to the iTunes store and search Marlow Ropes to download your free copy of the App and start discovering everything it has to offer.

Download the Marlow App here:

Sign-Up for GOR's Online Virtual Race
GOR's Online Virtual Race On Sunday 11 September, the double-handed, round-the-world, Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) and UnitedGames are launching a free-to-play test race prior to the start of the main GOR Virtual Race on Sunday 25 September. The GOR's test race is a chance for players to discover the game's new and exciting features and to become familiar with the controls prior to the intense competition in the event's main Virtual Race.

GOR Virtual Race players have the chance to match their tactical skills against the real teams and other virtual players.

The GOR's Virtual Race Game will run from the actual start of the GOR on 25 September, through to the finish next June with 30,000 miles of racing through the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans with five separate legs split by four stopovers in ports around the world. Players can sign-up for the test game on the GOR website. In the main Virtual Race, starting on 25 September, players can buy performance enhancing extras - racing sails, autopilots, crew energy levels - that can give you an edge over the competition. Proceeds from the purchase of these extras will go to the GOR's Official Charity, the Global Vision Sailing Trust, an important charity created to introduce under-privileged young people to sailing and its core values via a global dinghy sailing programme. Prizes for leg wins in the GOR Virtual Race and for the overall podium players will be announced shortly.

No Merci I Will Wait With My Boat
Greater love hath no sailor but that he refuses to leave his sailing boat even though it's capsized in the Atlantic Ocean.

Famed professional sailor Francis Joyon, standing on the keel of his upturned boat IDEC, in which he was trying to break a record for being the fastest across the Atlantic, refused to abandon ship. Instead he spent an incredible 36 hours in its tiny cabin bobbing up and down in the rough waters off Long Island until a tow arrived.

'I've spent so many years with this boat, I didn't want to leave it, he told reporters, 'If no one's on it, you don't know what will happen.'

Joyon, 55, and the yacht in which he has had so much previous success, IDEC, had been waiting for weeks for the right weather to try to beat the record of five days, 19 hours, 30 minutes set by arch rival Thomas Coville in July 2008.

He had left a marina in Brooklyn on Sunday evening, but never got further than about 50 miles from Newport.

Less than 12 hours into his trip, Joyon encountered 'wind was so strong, it just capsized in one second,' he told the New York Post. 'It was so brutal that it blew me out of the cockpit and I found myself underneath the nets' that connect its two pontoons to the central hull.

The French called the US Coast Guard, which dispatched a patrol boat. It arrived about two hours later, and the crew offered to take him aboard.

Joyon politely said merci, but declined a ride, and Joyon stayed in his cozy, but upside-down cabin, until the American tug Miller Marine Service arrived at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

He boarded the tug, which then hooked up his boat and towed it to a marina on Long Island. Workers flipped it right-side up for a sail to Newport, RI, for repairs.

How The French Look After Their Solo Race Fleets
The French Navy escort the [Figaro] race for the entire three weeks and 1,200 miles of its course, along with a support yacht, a race committee yacht and a boat of doctors and medical advisers. It is part of the incredible safety support of this remarkable single-handed one-design race, which runs between Normandy, Brittany, ireland and the Vendee.

The great thing about having the French Navy as guardship is that when the boats are criss-crossing the English Channel, they simply call up tankers and the like and get them to alter course.

"It's the safest race I've ever done," observes British competitor Conrad Humphreys. I'm safer doing this race than going across the Channel on any JOG race."

Humphreys also comments that, with the 46-strong fleet separated most of the time by only a few miles, you can often hear another competitor playing loud music for hours. And that collision avoidance is routine and can be quite relaxed.

From Elaine Bunting's blog:

Well ... Isn't This How Everyone Settles Their Bar Tab?
The bill for 92 bottles of champagne at Flavio Briatore's bar is settled after four Eastern Europeans left without paying on a 70m (230ft) yacht

The friend of the father of one of the six men who left a Sardinian bar on a 70m (230ft) yacht without paying the €86,000 bill, has now settled the debt.

Six young Russians ordered more than ninety bottles of champagne at former F1 boss Flavio Briatore's Billionaire bar in Porto Cervo last week. The tab was under the name of the yacht they were on, Kismet.

When the Russians left the bar without paying, the director of Billionaire reported the incident to the police. The captain of Kismet was then contacted by the military and the yacht prevented from leaving Sardinia.

The six Russians having disappeared, the Italian police considered impounding the yacht until the bill was paid. The captain of Kismet and the yacht's management company also risked legal proceedings.

A bank transfer from the Ukraine covering the whole bill has, however, settled the matter. Secrecy surrounds the identity of the group who ran up the bill. Italian newspapers report that a resolution was achieved only after mediation from lawyers and informal diplomatic contact through embassies.

From IBI Plus:

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 - and half the things he knows at 40 hadn't been discovered when he was 20? -- Arthur C. Clarke

Back On Tuesday
Your humble narrator is taking a long weekend with Mrs. Narrator and our Trophy Daughter as it's the last weekend before school starts and he has to get up early in the morning next week and do the Dad stuff. See you on Tuesday.

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